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(56 miles in the glorious Peak District!)
The first full weekend in September

Starts on the first Saturday in September and is organised by the 3rd Hazel Grove Scout Group affiliated to the Long Distance Walkers' Association (LDWA) - Click to enter the Group's site

BULLOCK SMITHY REPORT 2017


The 42nd BULLOCK SMITHY - APRÈS LE DÉLUGE
As promised after last years’ deluge, weather conditions were much improved for the 42nd Bullock Smithy, almost perfect in fact. Still, a few complained that it was a bit too warm during the afternoon - there is just no pleasing some people. Entries were slightly down on the last few years but 215 faced the starting anvil in bright sunshine at midday in Devonshire Park. 156 returned by midday or thereabouts the following day with tales to tell of their adventures. The warm weather in the early afternoon required plenty of fluids to be taken on board at checkpoints but that only tells half the story and it was a very close run thing in getting liquids and checkpoint staff up to Chinley Churn and the drinks point at Peep O Day.
A fatal road accident at 1215pm involving a motorcyclist had closed the road just a hundred yards or so from the drinks point stranding checkpoint staff in their cars on the road up from Hayfield. With no sign of the road reopening before the first runners passed through checkpoint staff abandoned their car at a nearby farm and hot-footed it to the Chinley Churn checkpoint in the nick of time to check through the first runners. The drinks staff cars were able to divert round via the back lane from Chinley and again arrived with seconds to spare to slake the thirst of the front runners. After this incident the organizers breathed a sigh of relief and the rest of the event passed off relatively smoothly without further incident. Out in the hills of the White Peak Rory Harris was burning up the course and steadily extended his lead during the second half to arrive home at 8.58pm to take the Bullock Smithy cup with almost an hour in hand on pursuers Kevin Hoult, Andy Morley and early leader Colin Wood.
Rory’s being the third fastest time for this version of the route which has been used since 2000. First lady home to take the Chinley Trophy was Vicky Wright in a time of 12h 20m. The regular contingent from Stockport Harriers were unable to defend the Windgather team award this year and had sent apologies for their absence. This left the field wide open to all comers and in the event a team called Wot no Tanya comprising of Zoe Beale, Chris Hodgkins both 16h 49m and Martin Long 20h 36m triumphed. Tanya missed a great day out but we do hope that she will be able to make it next year. In the Scouting section, the Axe Edge trophy, which is now awarded to the fastest member of the Scout Movement was won by ex 3rd Hazel Grove scout Steve Jackson in 14h 32m. Steve is now a leader at 1st Selsey down in Sussex and this was his 27th completion so he is getting to know the route now. The Smithy Cup and Corfield Farrier, which is awarded to the fastest Scout from the local Ladybrook Valley District and from 3rd Hazel Grove Scout Group respectively, was won by Bullock Smithy Explorer Scout James Martin. This completed a fantastic triple for James who also gained his Queens Scout Award and gold Duke of Edinburgh earlier this year.
Congratulations to all other finishers, we hope that you enjoyed a grand day out. For those who didn’t quite make it including poor Sam Gregg who just couldn’t put another step forwards at Higher Poynton just 2 miles from home we hope you will consider this as unfinished business. For those who uttered that often quoted ‘never again’ upon entering the scout unit at checkpoint 14 – well we will no doubt see you next year.

Finally .....
My thanks to the brilliant team of people who make this event happen each year. Thank you to all the people who have got in touch through twitter or facebook to say thank you – it means a lot.

Next year's event is on 1st/ 2nd September 2018. Entries are now open at www.bullocksmithy.com

Steve Holt